NJ gas prices heading higher again – what to expect next
After shooting dramatically higher in late February and early March, gas prices in New Jersey have dropped about 25 cents a gallon over the past two weeks.
But don’t expect that trend to continue.
According to Tom Kloza, the global head of energy analysis for the Oil Price Information Service, the decrease in the price of gas seems to be over, although no one is really sure because the price of oil has been all over the place.
“Every day is an absolute adventure, right now if you were to ask me what we’re going to see by the end of this week, I’d say about the same as you see now, or maybe a little trickle higher,” he said.
Lots of variables
Kloza said “I’m afraid that you’ve seen most of what you’re going to see for March, (price decrease) but April may be different.”
He pointed out it’s hard to know what’s going to happen next because we’re seeing “very, very volatile markets.
"I would say volatile doesn’t really do it, these are violent markets, calling it volatile is like calling the Pacific Ocean moist.”
How much more?
He said in the near term, “New Jersey is going to be in that $4 to $4.30 range, thereabouts, with maybe the occasional $3.99, which gets a lot of traffic.”
He said increasing discussion within the European Union about slapping sanctions on Russian oil because of the invasion of Ukraine is unsettling the energy markets, causing prices to drift higher.
“You may see prices drift a little bit, you know a nickel here or so, but it won’t be enough to buy a boat, and it’s not going to be anything like you saw last year.”
Will gas go to $5 a gallon?
When Kloza was asked whether he thinks gas prices will hit $5 a gallon this spring he said, “I think you’ll see that only if you use premium gasoline, about 5% of the population needs it and about 11% of the population uses it.”
He noted that while the increase in gas prices has been significant, the price of diesel has shot through the roof.
“If you use diesel, if you have a truck or a boat that uses diesel or where you need to be prepared to pay not just $5 a gallon, but maybe $6 a gallon,” he said.
“If we do hear there’s an actual peace on Ukraine, which seems a great distance away, then maybe we’ll get back to normal but right now markets are tight.”
A few weeks ago, analysts thought the United Arab Emirates were going to put more oil on the market “but somehow negotiations between them and Western countries have really broken down.”
David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.